Decolonize Academia!

Today the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) is holding a seminar titled Decolonizing the Academy. Our aim is for this seminar to start a national discussion about the legacy of the colonial era in Norwegian academia – both in relation to its formal structures and the ways in which we as researchers conceptualize and categorize… Read more »

The Long Peace Most Likely Began during the Vietnam War

Two statisticians at the University of Oslo have blown a hole in Steven Pinker’s famous theory that the Long Peace dates from 1945 onwards. But Pinker is excited about the new calculations, which suggest that this more peaceful period instead began in 1965 – during the Vietnam War. In his 2011 book, The Better Angels… Read more »

Confessions of a Defector from Sociology (1)

I am very grateful to the Norwegian Sociological Association for awarding me its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 (Norwegian original here, English translation here). Why did I become a sociologist? Why did I leave? And: Do I regret it?             In fact, I find this exceptionally generous. Although I was once… Read more »

Nils Petter Gleditsch

The Norwegian Sociological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 goes to a researcher whose exceptional career has had a significant impact on international social research. The reasons for the jury’s decision appear below. Brief biography For this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, there is a link between the circumstances of his birth and his… Read more »

From Wales to Catalonia and Beyond: Gene Sharp and Non-Violent Nationalism

Gene Sharp – a pioneer in the study of non-violent action – died peacefully at the age of 90 on 28 January 2018. Obituaries in many newspapers have highlighted his contributions to the study of non-violent resistance against dictatorial regimes, pointing to how his work inspired the Arab Spring and his reputation as a “dictator’s… Read more »

Gene Sharp Has Died and the World Has Lost a Global Educator

Just a week after his 90th birthday, Gene Sharp passed away 28 January. The magazine New Statesman once described Gene Sharp as the “Machiavelli of Nonviolence” and Thomas Weber labelled him “the Clausewitz of Nonviolent Action.” Who was this man, and what did he contribute to our understanding of the use of nonviolent tactics in… Read more »

Alva Myrdal, Research, and Nuclear Disarmament

The time for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is coming up, and as identified by PRIO’s Director, there are many worthy laureates. 35 years ago, Alva Myrdal (1902-1986) received the prize for her work with nuclear disarmament – a question that has unfortunately resurfaced and is again a likely theme for the peace prize. To a peace researcher,… Read more »

Information Technology Can Help Build Peace. This Is How.

In a recent episode of the caustic sitcom “Silicon Valley,” the hard-luck start-up protagonists attend a big technology convention. They stumble across an app called PeaceFare, a game that lets players “build peace” on their phones by giving virtual money to virtual homeless people or virtual corn to virtual starving villagers. Launched by a rich entrepreneur… Read more »

Rudy Rummel – a Many-Faceted Scholar

From mathematics to democide Rudolph J Rummel always published just as RJ Rummel but was well known in the profession as Rudy. He was a man of many talents, and to some of his readers he may also have seemed to present many different faces. He came from a broken home, yet became a devoted… Read more »